BT Ignite to exit German WLL – World News
BT Ignite is said to be preparing to exit Germany in an effort not to be the last wireless local loop (WLL) operator left standing, say sources close to the company. The reported decision marks the end of the line for the German WLL market, in which no less than five operations have filed for insolvency in as many months.
“They’re just waiting for the call,” said once source who works closely with the Nuremberg-based office.
“They tell me every decision gets blocked from London,” said another.
Speculations of BT Ignite’s exit have been fanned by the company’s foot-dragging in filling the vacancy for the position of head of WLL since the outgoing executive’s resignation over a month ago. BT Ignite assumed full ownership of Viag Interkom’s fixed business last April as the now demerged mm02 took over mobile operations, but the hosting arm has reportedly failed to convince its London office that the German WLL market is worth pursuing.
A spokesman for the company confirmed that BT Ignite is “looking into several options for the WLL,” adding: “it is clear that WLL won’t live up to expectations.” The spokesman hinted that BT ignite may announce its intentions at the beginning of December.
The spokesman refused to comment on the number of regional licenses currently in operation out of the total 219 acquired through the Viag Interkom sale. Industry sources suggest BT Ignite is currently providing WLL services through less than half that figure. The German Regulator RegTP requires the company to operate a service in the regions in which it holds a license within twelve months, or risk forfeiting that license. One source close to the company said Br Ignite is no longer interested in investing further in the build-out of infrastructure in regions covered by licenses that it technically doesn’t own.
BT Ignite’s spokesman admitted the clause that forbids the direct sale of licenses through any other means except a company take-over is causing the company headaches. “We’re using something they own, so we have to change the whole arithmetic,” he said.
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